Loyola produces more Fulbright scholars

Two recent Loyola University graduates and one Loyola senior have been named 2017-18 Fulbright U.S. Student Award recipients.

Natalie Jones, Mathew Holloway and Lauren Stroh have accepted the awards.

A total of five Loyola students received Fulbright award offers. Graduate Emily Edwards and student Michael Pashkevich — both members of Loyola’s Honors Program — were able to decline the awards in pursuit of other "exciting ventures," officials said.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Recipients work and live with the people of their host country.

The program facilitates cultural exchange in many areas, giving recipients an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs.

The U.S. State Department named Loyola among the top U.S. Fulbright producers for the 2015-16 academic year.

Jones, Holloway and Stroh were each selected for the Fulbright program’s English teaching assistant program, which places Fulbright recipients in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to English teachers. In addition, each will take on a research project of their own creation.

Graduating from Loyola with a double major in Spanish and theater arts, Jones will be placed in Argentina, teaching English and working to create a database of accents from various regions of the country that language researchers can utilize.

Since graduating from Loyola with a major in sociology and a minor in Spanish, Holloway has been traveling around the world in preparation for his upcoming Fulbright stay in Panama. He will open a forum there for students to discuss important topics.

Graduating this spring with a major in cultural studies, Stroh will teach English at a bi-national center in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She also will research and investigate the Venezuelan street art scene and curate an exhibition of political graffiti. 

LSU research shows value of fish oil

A team of researchers at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans have found that a component of fish oil helps damaged brain and retina cells survive.

Nicolas Bazan, Boyd professor and director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at the LSU School of Medicine, has shown for the first time that Neuroprotectin D1, a signaling molecule made from docosahexaenoic acid, can trigger the production of a protein that protects against toxic free radicals and injuries in the brain and retina.

NPD1 is a lipid messenger made from the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. It's made on demand when cell survival is compromised.

NPD1 was discovered and named in 2004 by Bazan and colleagues. 

The research team found that when systematically administered after an experimental stroke, NPD1 increased the production and availability of a protein that facilitates DNA repair and protects against cell death by suppressing the production of a destructive protein called PARP.

DHA, found in fish oil, is an essential omega-3 fatty acid and is vital for proper brain function. It is also necessary for the development of the nervous system, including vision.

Tulane school honors Buquet and Gleason

The A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University has honored business executive James J. Buquet III as Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year and Steve Gleason as Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

The honors were given at the 2017 Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala on April 20.

The Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors individuals who combine a history of entrepreneurial success with philanthropic generosity and service to the community. The Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals who are solving social problems and meeting community needs through the use of entrepreneurial principles.

Buquet is president and CEO of Buquet Distributing Co., an Anheuser-Busch InBev distributor for southeast Louisiana. Founded in 1953, the family-owned business wholesales 250 different brands of beer, wine, spirits and nonalcoholic beverages.

Buquet also is chairman of Coastal Commerce Bank, vice chairman of Louisiana Community Bancorp and vice president of the James J. Buquet Jr. Family Foundation, which supports philanthropic causes throughout Louisiana. 

Former New Orleans Saints player Gleason founded Team Gleason in 2011 after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Through the foundation, he has worked to raise awareness of ALS, promote research and help provide patients suffering from neuromuscular diseases with leading-edge technology, equipment and services.

In July 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Steve Gleason Act, ensuring the availability of communication devices for individuals with ALS and other neurological disorders.

Follow Della Hasselle on Twitter, @dellahasselle.